Washington D.C., Jan. 22, 2021 —
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced Melissa R. Hodgman, currently an Associate Director in the Commission’s Division of Enforcement, has been named Acting Director of the Division of Enforcement.
“Melissa’s dedication to investor protection, broad experience in the Division, and proven track record of collaboration and creative problem solving make her ideally suited to this role,” said SEC Acting Chair Allison Herren Lee. “As Associate Director, Melissa has overseen a wide range of complex and programmatically important matters, and has been a leading voice in the Division on critical issues of diversity, hiring, and labor-management relations. She is highly respected by her colleagues in the Division and across the agency for her intellect and dedication.”
“It has been my honor to serve with the incredibly talented staff across the Division of Enforcement for over a decade,” said Ms. Hodgman. “I am constantly inspired by the dedication of my colleagues in the Division and across the Commission, especially with the challenges of the last year. I look forward to continuing my work with them in the role of Acting Director and supporting the Commission’s mission of protecting investors and market integrity through the aggressive pursuit of all forms of fraud and misconduct in our markets.”
Ms. Hodgman has been Associate Director in the Home Office since October 2016. She has investigated and led teams pursuing and litigating numerous enforcement actions covering the spectrum of securities law violations, including matters related to financial fraud and disclosure; broker-dealers, investment advisers, and gatekeepers; offering frauds, market structure, and manipulation; and cross-border and FCPA violations. The notable cases to which Ms. Hodgman has contributed include:
- Successful litigation against two Ukraine-based traders, Nathan Fayyek and Sergey Pustelnik, who, along with their trading firm, were found liable for a multi-pronged manipulative trading scheme, and against Lek Securities, the U.S. based broker-dealer the Commission alleged helped to facilitate their trading, and its principal, Samuel Lek, who settled just prior to trial.
- A $50 million settlement with Big 4 accounting firm KPMG to settle charges relating to the firm’s receipt and use of PCAOB inspection information, as well as misconduct related to internal training exams. In addition to the settlement with the firm, the Commission charged eight KPMG officials for their roles.
- Actions against Nissan Corporation and its former CEO, Carlos Ghosn, and director, Greg Kelly, in connection with a scheme to conceal from public disclosure tens of millions of dollars of expected compensation for Ghosn. Nissan agreed to pay a $15 million civil penalty, and Ghosn and Kelly were barred from acting as officers or directors of public companies, in addition to paying significant civil penalties.
- Enforcement actions against several individuals and entities responsible for the Fyre Festival, including Fyre Festival CEO William Z. (Billy) McFarland, who admitted to his role in a fraudulent scheme that raised more than $27 million from over 100 investors.
- Investigation of the Schwab YieldPlus Fund for misconduct related to the 2008 financial crisis that resulted in a $118 million settlement with broker dealer Charles Schwab & Co, and related entities where the SEC found that the YieldPlus Fund misstated the risk associated with its portfolio. The Commission also brought litigated charges against two senior executives.
Ms. Hodgman has also played key roles in numerous Commission initiatives, including the creation and leadership of the Division’s Covid-19 Steering Committee and overseeing the Division’s Financial Reporting and Audit Group. She has been a leader in the Division’s diversity and inclusion work during her career, including as the head of the Division’s Hiring Committee, Executive Sponsor of the agency’s Women’s Committee, and as a member of the Division’s Labor and Management Forum at both the local and national levels.
Ms. Hodgman began working in the Enforcement Division in 2008 as a staff attorney. She joined the Market Abuse Unit in 2010 and was promoted to Assistant Director in 2012. She received the Ellen B. Ross Award, the 2010 SEC Chairman’s Award, the 2017 Arthur F. Mathews Award, and the 2020 Chairman’s Award for Excellence with the SEC’s Employee Affinity Groups, as well as a number of Division Director Awards.
Ms. Hodgman earned her Master of Laws with distinction in securities and financial regulation in 2007 from Georgetown University Law Center, her law degree with high honors from Georgetown University Law Center in 1994, and her Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1990. Before joining the SEC staff, she worked as an associate at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in Washington, D.C.